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Ordinary Adventures Blog

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About this blog

Living the simple life

Entries in this blog

Rated R for Violence

In the last five months, three of my coworkers have been robbed at gunpoint while walking to work in the early morning hours. Another coworker avoided being mugged by retrieving his concealed weapon when he saw two men wearing ski masks approaching him. They saw the gun in his hand and made a hasty retreat. Those were frightening moments for my coworkers; maybe 'traumatizing' is a better word. I had some similar experiences in my younger days, though I wouldn't say I felt traumatized; I was star

simplybill

simplybill

An Unfortunate Incident

I've spent much of my life traveling. I drove trucks for about ten years when I lived in Utah. I was blessed to spend my days driving through the mountains and flatlands of Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. One of my favorite memories is the time I parked in a turnoff at the top of Sardine Summit at one o'clock in the morning. I shut down the engine, rolled down the windows and ate my brown-bag lunch while listening to the wind in the trees and gazing at millions of stars in the sky. I went from truckdr

simplybill

simplybill

Two Lives

I once knew a man who slapped Adolph Hitler. I met him back in the 1960s, during my high school years, when I stayed a few weekends at the Catholic monastery in Colfax, Iowa, doing chores and spending time with Father Sean and the Brothers. Brother Stanislaus was old and small and thin, and he was very quiet, almost invisible. He raised pigeons in a large pigeon coop behind the monastery. The only conversation I remember having with him was on the summer afternoon when he gave me the grand tou

simplybill

simplybill

Mundanity?

Vacation is almost over, and I’ll soon be returning to work. I can always tell when I’ve been home for too long, because weird and mundane things take on greater importance than they should. Yesterday, for example, I was preparing a delicious meal of liver-and-onions for the crockpot (a favorite of mine, as I’m sure it is for everyone). I poured olive oil into the pot and chopped the onion, but when I took the package of liver from the fridge there was an unseen hole in the package. I turned ar

simplybill

simplybill

A Mis-Adventure

It's a good day to stay indoors and do some writing. Lots of wind and snow. I've gone outside twice to clear away the snow from the garage door, just in case I run out of hot dogs and ice cream and I have to make a trip to the grocery store. But what to write? Aside from the fact that I feel narcissistic when writing about myself, there's also the feeling that maybe my adventures are less about adventurism, and more about foolishness. A wiser man may have avoided the situations I've found mysel

simplybill

simplybill

A Mountain Adventure

A Mountain Adventure As a kid growing up in Iowa, I read every book in the library that had anything to do with Mountain Men. Though many of the stories may be more folklore than fact, it was all fuel to the fire for my young imagination. I was fascinated by the lives of legendary scouts and fur trappers such as Jeremiah Johnson, Jim Bridger and Kit Carson. I still own an old paperback book about Jeremiah Johnson, the “Crow Killer.” The legends say he acquired his nickname after a hunting p

simplybill

simplybill

A quiet adventure

I had a day of discovery and adventure on "The Road Less Traveled" today. To start with, I was pleasantly surprised when the receptionist at the YMCA only charged me $5 instead of the usual $7 for a Day Pass. I asked her, "Is this because I just turned 62?" She said yes, and I enthusiastically replied, "If I keep this up, I'll be coming in for free!" She gave me a huge smile...well, actually a small grin...okay, it was a weak, sickly grin, as in, "Run along old man." ...So I left her to her bus

simplybill

simplybill

My Tornado Encounter

My first blog entry! I'm looking forward to sharing a few small adventures. I live in a 2-story 1940’s farmhouse on the Mississippi-Missouri Divide in the rolling hills of western Iowa. My acreage sits on a hilltop above a long, wide draw that occasionally funnels the southern wind into dangerous straight-line winds. The low farm fields to the west offer little resistance in slowing down the massive thunderstorms that move across the prairie. I remember, years ago, sitting at my dining room win

simplybill

simplybill